Marketers of small- to mid-sized organizations constantly seek tools to improve efficiency and efficacy of their efforts without breaking the budget. In this post, I provide 6 marketing tools that can make your life as a nonprofit marketer (or small business) easier than ever.
(None of the following companies paid or asked for inclusion.)
1. Email Marketing: MailChimp
Even as marketers test new trends in digital marketing, email remains one of the most popular and effective methods when used effectively. Unfortunately, many small to mid-sized companies still use cheats such as the CC or BCC field in their favorite email program to communicate with their email lists. Using this technique makes your job more complicated than it has to be.
MailChimp provides free email marketing for nonprofits with fewer than 2,000 email subscribers who send less than 12,000 emails per month. Six emails per subscriber is more than sufficient to keep your service or fundraising top-of-mind with your constituents. Plus, the service provides automation, list segmentation, analytics and templates to have you ready to roll in minutes.
Of course, you hope that your list eventually surpasses the free requirements. When that happy day arrives, ask for their 15% nonprofit discount on standard plans.
Of course, MailChimp is not the only service in their class. Explore similar programs such as Constant Contact or Active Campaign to find your best fit.
2. Project Management: Asana
Small marketing teams often find themselves swamped by project requests, tasks and sub-tasks. Using folders in email as a means of organization is a sure-fire way to ensure key projects from your boss fall through the cracks. Luckily, there are many project management tools to improve efficiency and communicate with members of your team. One my favorite and coincidentally free choices is Asana. A simple, streamlined workflow makes creating projects, assigning tasks to team members, subdividing tasks, inviting guests to view projects and uploading resources quick work. As a bonus, their mobile app makes on-the-go project management tastier than a piece of cake.
For other providers in their space, check out other popular players like Basecamp .
3. Website Metrics: HotJar
Web data is a marketer’s best friend. Do you have a form with a low usage rate? Employ form analytics to determine completion rates. Is the completion rate too low? Find out which fields cause form abandonment. Want to test usability of your website? Deploy heat mapping and record sessions to watch how visitors navigate through your site. Use feedback polls and surveys to hear directly from visitors. Or even recruit user testers to conduct your own usability study. Thanks to HotJar, a newcomer in this service sector, you can get these features for the low price of $29 per month (as soon as the product is released from beta).
There are a variety of other providers in the sector who provide one or two of these features (e.g. Clicktale ). However, few offer this broad selection for such a low pricepoint.
4. Form Management: Wufoo
Online form builders come in all shapes and sizes. One that provides a balance of power with a hefty nonprofit discount is Wufoo. Their basic plan with a 50% nonprofit discount gets you 10 forms with up to 500 entries and 20 reports per month for under $8 per month. Plans climb from there depending upon your needs.
Another popular player in the space is Formstack . A bit pricier, and a bit more complex to use, Formstack does offer some powerful features if price is less of a concern.
5. Platform Integrations: Zapier
With so many digital marketing tools available, the question often becomes, “How do I share information from one service with another?” Let’s assume you want to use Wufoo to accept project requests and you want to feed those projects into Asana. Simple – use Zapier as a bridge to make the two shake hands. In many cases it is as simple as matching fields between applications and determining when you want the connection to run. A free plan gets you 5 zaps running every 15 minutes. Plans step up from there with a 15% nonprofit discount.
6. Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Salesforce
You might be wondering how Salesforce made it on a cheap-to-free marketing tools list. The reason I included here is that Salesforce “donates” a limited number of licenses to nonprofits presuming they have proper nonprofit classification. They do require a official application. But, the process is relatively painless for the power you receive as a result.
Of course, CRMs come in all flavors and trim packages. So, if something simple but still inexpensive is more to your taste, check out Nutshell and One Page CRM .
Other Favorite Marketing Tools
There are certainly many other marketing tools handy for your arsenal, such as a good marketing automation system. Most companies offer nonprofit pricing for little more than asking. Since we can only cover so many in this space, tell us your own favorite free or inexpensive marketing tools in the comment section below.
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